The Name and Family of Barham

by Sydney Pay Barham

Chapter Sixteen


From the story of the rise decline and fall of the descendants of John Barham of Bivelham, I have now to return to the end of the fifteenth century in order to describe the more varied fortunes of the children of his brother, Nicholas. Nicholas Barham of Wadhurst, the elder son of Richard and Anne Barham, was invested with certain lands in Wadhurst by a charter dated in the seventh year of Henry VII, (1491-92), which was witnessed by a certain William Barham, otherwise unknown. The same Nicholas was concerned in transactions regarding land in Lamberhurst and Yalding in 1492 and 1494 respectively. Also concerned in these dealings was Thomas Baker, who may have been the Thomas Baker of Cranbrook, who bought a portion of the manor of Sissinghurst from the Barhams of Teston about this time. As already mentioned the Bakers are known to have held lands in east Sussex, and Thomas Baker of Cranbrook made a will in 1494, the year of the Yalding transaction. Nicholas served as a churchwarden at Wadhurst, and was a man of position. In 1499, at a court in the manor of Mayfield, from which he held lands, he and eleven others, were appointed as jurors to hold an Inquisition on behalf of the Lord of the Manor, concerning payments for pannage, the feeding of swine on oak and beech massed in the woodlands. He left three sons, distinguished by their places of residence:

  1. Richard, of 'Browns'.
  2. John, of 'Woodland and 'Butts'
  3. William of 'Stailreig'

Of the three sons, Richard is notable as the father of Nicholas Barham of Chillington Manor, Maidstone; Queen's Sergeant under Elizabeth I. John became an ironmaster, and the first of a line of ironmasters in Wadhurst, although many of his descendants set up house elsewhere, as at Maidstone and Boughton Monchelsea in Kent, and East Hoathly and Lindfield in Sussex, and London.

The descendants of William soon left Wadhurst, and scattered widely in east Sussex. One family settled at 'Delvern', in Westfield, and another ultimately reached Battle. It was from the latter family that Sir George Barham established his descent. I will ask my readers to follow me as I try to unfold the story of these men, and some of their progeny.

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